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Grand Opening for the HFL Sequoia Apartments

For Immediate Release

Contact: Takao Suzuki at (213) 473-1606
Grand Opening Ceremony for “Green” Housing Development to provide permanent affordable housing for Low-Income and Homeless Adults with Mental Disabilities

(Van Nuys, Calif.) On June 13, 2014, the Homes for Life Foundation and LTSC Community Development Corporation celebrated the grand opening of the HFL Sequoia Apartments.  HFL Sequoia Apartments provide 24 housing units for low-income adults with mental disabilities, 12 of which are specifically set-aside for chronically homeless adults with mental disabilities.  The lack of permanent, affordable, supportive housing has been one of the main obstacles to stabilized lives for mentally disabled adults.   All units are affordable and range from 30% to 50% average median income.  Design of the HFL Sequoia Apartments integrates the unique and various Mediterranean architectural styles found in the surrounding neighborhood.  The development was constructed on a previously vacant lot, which had long been an eyesore in the community.  HFL Sequoia Apartments represents a high performing, energy efficient structure in the area and establishes a new precedent for what can be achieved in underserved communities in Los Angeles. The building was designed with many “green” elements and is targeting LEED Gold Certification. Some of the unique features include a permeable parking lot and bioswale, to help reduce and clean stormwater runoff, drought resistant landscaping, thermal solar water heating, recycling and LED lights throughout the building.  Taking full advantage of the mild Southern California climate, two rooftop terraces provide a serene yet secure outdoor environment for residents with shade trellises and raised planter gardens around the perimeter.
HFL Sequoia Apartments
In addition to providing quality housing, the development offers community and social service space to its residents.  On-site supportive services include life skills development, mental health counseling, crisis intervention, economic empowerment through linkages to employment and education, and networking for off-site mental health services.   A resident manager will also live on-site to assist residents capable of independent living.

HFL Sequoia Apartments would not be possible without funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the National Equity Fund, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.  The HUD 811 program provided almost $4.1 million in funding, the National Equity Fund provided $4.8 million in tax credit equity investment, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority provided over $500,000 in funding for capital and services.  

“National Equity Fund is proud to partner with LTSC Community Development Corporation and Homes for Life Foundation to enable residents of the HFL Sequoia Apartments to live independently in a safe and stable home with vital social services,” commented Todd Fabian, vice president and regional manager at National Equity Fund, Inc., the development’s source of LIHTC equity. “It’s developments like Sequoia that make this industry so rewarding.”

HFL Sequoia Apartments
Development Team
Developer:  Homes for Life Foundation
Developer:  LTSC Community Development Corporation
Architect:  ONYX Architects
Consultant:  Nancy Lewis Associates, Inc.
General Contractor:  Ellias Construction Company, Inc.

Homes for Life Foundation was formed as a nonprofit housing and services agency in 1986, and is dedicated to establishing a network of permanent, affordable, supportive housing within the geographical boundaries of Los Angeles County for homeless and chronically homeless individuals who suffer from mental disabilities.  The fundamental purpose of offering mentally disabled adults the choice of a ‘home for life’ is to prevent their downward spiral of despair and crises due to lack of the same.

LTSC Community Development Corporation is a non-profit community-based organization, which has been providing services for over 30 years to the greater Los Angeles community. Programs include senior services, assistance for victims of domestic violence, support groups, social services, child abuse and neglect outreach, emergency food and shelter assistance, affordable housing, youth programs and community economic development. 

“Preparing for Late Life Needs,” a Series of Financial Educational Seminars

F O R   I M M E D I A T E  R E L E A S E

Little Tokyo Service Center
231 E Third Street, G-106
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Contact: Jessica Kanai, 213-473-3035

“Preparing for Late Life Needs”, a Series of Financial Educational Seminars to be Held in Gardena, February 15, March 22, and April 12, 2014

A free series of educational workshop for Asian American seniors and their caregivers will be held on Saturday, February 15, March 22, and April 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. The event is free and open to the public and parking is also free. Titled “Preparing for Late Life Needs”, the workshop series will assist seniors and their adult children to begin a conversation on late life decision-making. The presentations will take into account cultural factors involved in the choices and decisions Asian American seniors need and their loved ones to make. The program will be presented in English with simultaneous translations in Japanese and Korean.

On Saturday, February 15, Long-Term Care (LTC) and Long-Term Care Insurance will be discussed. LTC such as extended stays in nursing homes or in-home caregivers are generally not covered by health insurance or Medicare. LTC insurance is one option for covering these costs. Brenda Bufford from The California Partnership for Long-Term Care, an innovative program of the State of California Department of Health Care Services, will address the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, ways to use LTC policies to plan for your future long-term care, and how these policies work with Medi-Cal.

Do you know what will happen to your property and possessions after you're gone? On Saturday, March 22, attorney Laura Narimatsu Wasserman, a partner in Nakahara & Wasserman, LLP will discuss the topic of Living Trusts. Learn about the importance of estate planning and tools such as living trusts at this workshop as we consider some of the most common legal issues together.

On Saturday April 12, our workshop titled Living Solo in Late Life, will explore ways individuals can find support, skills, and resources as they transition through late life. From day-to-day tasks to decision-making on larger life issues, navigating late life issues can be daunting, especially when you are on your own.

Pre-registration is required for admission to the seminar and open to all residents throughout Los Angeles County. To make a reservation, please visit the website www.LTSC.org and sign up, or call LTSC at 213-473-3035.

Grand Opening takes place in Koreatown for Menlo Family Apartments

Koreatown and Little Tokyo organizations collaborate to develop Permanent Supportive Housing

(Los Angeles, CA)

Grand Opening of Menlo Family ApartmentsOn March 7th, the Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC) and LTSC Community Development Corporation officially opened the Menlo Family Apartments, a brand new affordable community serving a variety of populations, including homeless and low-income families, transition aged youth, and children with mental illness. The 60-unit apartment complex is a certified green building with rooftop solar panels, and provides permanent supportive housing in the Koreatown area.

The project is at the forefront of new housing policies integrating families and individuals of all incomes and those with mental or developmental disabilities. The brand new community provides homes for families with low-incomes, struggling with homelessness, or raising a child with mental illness, as well as support for transition aged youth to live stable and independent lives. KYCC will provide after-school programs, family literacy, computer and workforce training, counseling and supportive services on-site to support the ongoing health and wellness of the future tenants.

More and more families are facing economic hardships as the economic recovery slowly drags on, and are more vulnerable than ever to homelessness. For the transition aged youth population, those under the age of 26 and coming out of foster homes, institutional settings, or living on the streets, there are scarce housing and resources to support their unique needs. “Menlo Family Apartments provides beautiful, permanent, and healthy homes for families to regain their footing in these difficult economic times,” stated Johng Ho Song, Executive Director of KYCC. “KYCC and our service partners look forward to being a part of stabilizing these families' lives.”

Menlo Family Housing would not be possible without the following funders: California Tax Credit Allocation Committee; Union Bank; Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; California Housing and Community Development; California Housing Finance Agency; Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Housing Department; Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Community Development Commission; Enterprise Community Partners; Century Housing Corporation; and Corporation for Supportive Housing.

Koreatown Youth and Community Center was established in 1975 for recently immigrated, at-risk youth. Since then, it has grown enormously, with children and family services, economic development, environmental, childcare, and affordable housing units. The mission of KYCC is to serve the evolving needs of the Korean American population in the greater Los Angeles Area as well as the multi-ethnic Koreatown community. Today, KYCC serves over 11,000 people each year, most of whom are first-generation immigrants from Latin America and Asia.

LTSC Community Development Corporation is a non-profit community-based organization, which has been providing services for over 30 years to the greater Los Angeles community. Programs include senior services, assistance for victims of domestic violence, support groups, child abuse and neglect outreach, children and family services, affordable housing, and community redevelopment.

Press Announcement: New LTSC Executive Director

Image of Bill Watanabe and Dean MatsubayashiThe Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Mr. Dean Matsubayashi to be the next Executive Director of LTSC. According to LTSC Board President Alan Nishio, "The LTSC Board has unanimously affirmed the selection of Dean Matsubayashi to succeed our longtime Executive Director Bill Watanabe who recently announced his plans to retire by June of 2012. Dean has been a staff member of LTSC for 15 years, and has been part of the agency's executive management staff for the past 5 years. Dean has grown up in the local Venice Nikkei community playing basketball in the Nikkei leagues, he has earned urban planning and public policy degrees from UC Irvine and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and has also worked in community economic development programs in Washington DC and New York City. We are fortunate to have such a well-qualified candidate who has worked alongside Bill Watanabe for a number of years, and can now take over the reins of the organization." Nishio stated that Dean will continue to work in his current position for the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and will work with Bill until his final retirement date in June.

Current LTSC Executive Director Bill Watanabe expressed his whole-hearted support for this selection, stating that "Dean is one of those special persons who can relate to any person of any age, and yet has a keen intellect and high level of energy. During the extreme fiscal crisis in 2009 and 2010 that threatened the work of many community groups including LTSC, Dean worked tirelessly to ensure that the vulnerable programs and projects of LTSC were able to continue towards completion. As has been noted by others, it is coincidental that three of the major community groups in Little Tokyo have announced new leadership personnel, and I think Dean will be a great example of the ensuing generation of leadership to face the challenges of the future."

According to information provided by LTSC, Matsubayashi has been a leader in forging ties in various diverse communities to advocate for and strengthen the work of community-based affordable housing development, and has served on the Executive Board of the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, and also the Executive Board of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD), and also sits on the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Matsubayashi, the son of the retired Rinban and Mrs. George Matsubayashi, is married and has a daughter and lives in the Silverlake area near downtown Los Angeles.